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Portal:Spain

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THE SPAIN PORTAL
EL PORTAL DE ESPAÑA

Flag Arms of Spain.svg
Location of Spain

Spain (Spanish: España), officially the Kingdom of Spain (Reino de España), is a country in southern Europe. It is located on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe, the country consists of Peninsular Spain which is located between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, two archipelagos, one in each sea, and two autonomous cities in North Africa. The mainland area of Spain is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the southern and eastern areas, the Cantabric Sea to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Spain is organised as a parliamentary democracy and is a constitutional monarchy. Spain has been a member of the European Union since 1986 and is a developed country, with the ninth largest economy in the world and fifth largest in the EU, with an area of 504,030 km², Spain is the second largest country in Western Europe (behind France).

Spain flourished under the Roman empire Hispania, thus becoming one of the Empire's most important regions at the time, during the times of the Middle Ages, Spain was under Germanic rule, only later to come under the rule of the Islamic caliphate. Spain emerged as a unified country in the 15th century, following the completion of the reconquest of the Iberian peninsula in 1492, it has been an important source of influence to other regions, chiefly during the Modern Era, when it became a global empire that has left a legacy of over 500 million Spanish speakers today, making it the world's second most spoken first language.

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Coat of Arms of Spain

The Spanish Constitution of 1978 is a culmination of the Spanish transition to democracy, the history of Spain in constitutional terms dates back to 1812. Following the death of Francisco Franco in 1975, a general election convened the Constituent Cortes, the description of the Spanish Parliament.

A seven-member panel was selected among the elected members of the Cortes to work on a draft of the Constitution to be submitted to the body, these came to be known, as the media put it, as the padres de la Constitución or "fathers of the Constitution". These seven people were chosen to represent the wide (and often, deeply divided) political spectrum within the Spanish Parliament, while the leading role was given to then ruling party and now defunct Unión de Centro Democrático. Writing the preamble of the constitution was considered an honour, and a task requiring great literary ability, the person chosen for this purpose was Enrique Tierno Galván. As well as this, the constitution recognises the existence of nationalities and regions.

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The Puente Nuevo
Credit: Sucrine

The Puente Nuevo, whose name means "new bridge" in Spanish, is the newer and larger of two bridges that span the 120m-deep chasm that divides the city of Ronda in southern Spain

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Julián Gayarre circa 1870

Sebastián Julián Gayarre Garjón (born January 9, 1844 in Roncal, Navarre — January 2, 1890 in Madrid), better known as Julián Gayarre, was a Spanish opera singer who created the role of Marcello in Donizetti's Il Duca d'Alba and Enzo in Ponchielli's La Gioconda. He was one of the leading tenors of his day, and regarded by many contemporary critics as the supreme tenor of his day.

Garjón was born and raised in the small Pyrenean town of Roncal, the third child of Mariano Gayarre and Maria Ramona Garjón, a couple of modest means, he left school at 13 to work as a shepherd. When he was 15, his father sent him to Pamplona to work in a small store, it was there that he had his first contact with music. It was a passion that would cost him his job when he was fired for leaving the store to follow a band that was parading in the street outside, he then worked as a blacksmith in the village of Lumbier and later in Pamplona at the Pinaqui foundry. One of his fellow workers, who heard him singing as he worked, encouraged him to join the Orfeón Pamplonés, the city's newly formed choir directed by Joaquin Maya. Maya took him on as first tenor and introduced him to the celebrated music teacher and composer, Hilarión Eslava. Eslava, struck by the beautiful timbre of the yet untrained voice, arranged a scholarship for Gayarre to study at the Madrid Conservatory.

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